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Thread: Books We Read/Listen To

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    That's a great book. I have a spoiler for you but will hold off until you've read it.
    It's a quick read - I should be finished tomarrow or Tuesday

  2. #32
    The Tenth Fleet by Ladislas Farago

    In the early spring of 1943, the Battle of the Atlantic shifted from the coastal areas of the United States -- where in the previous year a Pearl Harbor of the east, a disaster few Americans have understood, occurred -- back to the convoy routes to Britain. Everywhere the war had turned against the Axis powers, everywhere, that is, except in the Atlantic, where a new U-boat offensive put victory for the allies once again in doubt. Yet within a matter of months the Battle of the Atlantic would turn irrevocably against the German U-boats. This is the backdrop for a fantastic book about the U.S. Tenth Fleet, a fleet without ships, which was organized to fight U-boats in the Atlantic. Admiral Ernest J. King, COMINCH and CNO, created the Tenth Fleet with four major points dominating all his considerations:

    1. Antisubmarine warfare needed a commander of the highest rank whose prestige and influence would be paramount and who could make his decisions prevail. The first commander of the Tenth Fleet would be none other than King himself.
    2. The organization King had in mind would have no ships of its own, but would have recourse to every vessel of the U.S. Navy with inherent and explicit power to commandeer whatever forces when and where needed for ASW operations.
    3. It had to be a small organization with assured and easy access to any and all agencies of the Navy, and especially to the various existing intelligence services and their resources.
    4. It had to have the status of a fleet, partly to simplify its personnel and administrative structure in a headquarters-type organization, partly to function along operational lines, and mainly to be able to use the channels of fleet communications.

    Ladislas Farago had a tengential connection to the Tenth Fleet and the Battle of the Atlantic as he worked as a civilian -- recently emigrated from Hungry -- in the Office of Naval Intelligence's propaganda section (OP-16-W). Farago is a master of the subject here and his writing is excellent. Farago would go on to write two books about U.S. Army General George S. Patton, Ordeal and Triumph (which I read a number of years ago and greatly enjoyed) and The Last Days of Patton.

  3. #33
    Finished Dog Company - good look at small unit actions ala Band of Brothers. Mr. O'Donnell follows D/2nd Ranger BN from it formation in Tennessee thru to the end of the war. He includes there major battles - Pointe Du Hoc (subject of Pres Reagans speech in 1984), the liberation of Brest, and Hill 400 in the Hurtgen Forest. They took incredible casualties during that stretch of combat. After PDH there were less the 15 men who where not casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing), Hill 400 was the same. He does not sugar coat these men or make out to be super soldiers.

    Mr. O'Donnell has a very readable writing style - almost novelistic (is that a word?)

    I highly recommend this

    currently reading something a little lighter - Ruth Donwie's newest Medicus mystery set in Roman Britain

    http://www.amazon.com/Semper-Fidelis...ds=ruth+downie
    Last edited by happyone; 03-18-2013 at 12:04 AM.

  4. #34
    American Aces by Edward H. Sims

    "Of all the tasks assigned to on man in World War II," wrote Sims, "none compare to the job of handling a fighter, in terms of co-ordination, mental alertness, split-second timing, mastery of technical detail, skill, courage, and judgement." In American Aces, Sims writes about the most exciting missions of 12 of the top U.S. Army Air Forces fighter pilots of WWII -- not necessarily their greatest or highest scoring missions, but rather their most memorable. Sims, who was a fighter pilot himself during the war, earning six Air Medals, puts the reader in the cockpit and gives them a wild ride. Fantastic!

    There is a companion book for Navy and Marine fighter pilots, Greatest Fighter Missions, which is also fantastic.

  5. #35
    Just finished Douglas Waller's biography of William Donovan

    http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Bill-Dono...d+bill+donovan

    Solid biography, Mr. Waller doesn't whitewash Wild Bill. The Donovan that Mr. Waller presents is a flawed man. He is an indifferent manager/administrator, but a superb leader. His personal life is a mess as is his finances.

    It is also a good look at the creation of the OSS and its operations in WW II. He does a good job covering the bureaucratic infighting that accompied the creation of the OSS and throughout its existance. J. Edgar Hoover particularly comes off poorly.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 03-17-2013 at 09:49 AM.

  6. #36
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post
    Finished Dog Company - good look at small unit actions ala Band of Brothers. Mr. O'Donnell follows D/2nd Ranger BN from it formation in Tennessee thru to the end of the war. He includes there major battles - Pointe Du Hoc (subject of Pres Reagans speech in 1984), the liberation of Brest, and Hill 400 in the Hurtgen Forest. The took incredible casualties during that stretch of combat. After PDH there were less the 15 men who where not casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing), Hill 400 was the same. He does not sugar coat these men or make out to be super soldiers.

    Mr. O'Donnell has a very readable writing style - almost novelistic (is that a word?)

    I highly recommend this

    currently reading something a little lighter - Ruth Donwie's newest Medicus mystery set in Roman Britain

    http://www.amazon.com/Semper-Fidelis...ds=ruth+downie
    This is a different book than the one I thought you were reading. Did the author cover the success of the mission? The movie "The Longest Day" depicted it as a failure, with the men discovering no guns when they finally got to the top. In fact, there were large artillery emplacements there and the Rangers destroyed them. The movie did "the boys of Pointe du Hoc" a great injustice.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #37
    Just started the third volume of Manchester's Churchill biography, which I picked up at Costco. Dubious at first, since Manchester became debilitated and ultimately died before it really got going, but I'm 60 pages in and love it so far. As good as the first two, but maybe he wrote the first 60. We'll see.

    p.s. i always knew that Churchill loved alchohol, but holy cow, how he drank that much and prosecuted a world war in his late 60's is beyond imagining. he must have had a cast iron stomach.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    Just started the third volume of Manchester's Churchill biography, which I picked up at Costco. Dubious at first, since Manchester became debilitated and ultimately died before it really got going, but I'm 60 pages in and love it so far. As good as the first two, but maybe he wrote the first 60. We'll see.

    p.s. i always knew that Churchill loved alchohol, but holy cow, how he drank that much and prosecuted a world war in his late 60's is beyond imagining. he must have had a cast iron stomach.
    I hear it is the Best of the 3 and it is about ww2. I read part 1 and it was excellent.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is a different book than the one I thought you were reading. Did the author cover the success of the mission? The movie "The Longest Day" depicted it as a failure, with the men discovering no guns when they finally got to the top. In fact, there were large artillery emplacements there and the Rangers destroyed them. The movie did "the boys of Pointe du Hoc" a great injustice.
    Yes he does. The guns were not in the emplacements, but a few hundred yards away. The rangers found them and destroyed them. The story of the capture of the battery at Brest was probably my favorite. The Rangers basically bluffed the German commander to surrendering it.

  10. #40
    Fallon by Louis L'Amour

    Macon Fallon leads some settlers to an abandoned mining town in Nevada with the intent of passing it off as a good prospect for gold. His goal is to raise a good deal of money before leaving for San Francisco, but to his surprise he finds himself becoming attached to the town as a real-life community takes shape. When a band of outlaws threatens the town, Fallon might find himself risking his life to defend it.

    Excellent!

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    Fallon by Louis L'Amour

    Macon Fallon leads some settlers to an abandoned mining town in Nevada with the intent of passing it off as a good prospect for gold. His goal is to raise a good deal of money before leaving for San Francisco, but to his surprise he finds himself becoming attached to the town as a real-life community takes shape. When a band of outlaws threatens the town, Fallon might find himself risking his life to defend it.

    Excellent!
    Heh. I Remember reading this one in 7th grade.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarid in Cedar View Post
    Heh. I Remember reading this one in 7th grade.
    Yeah, I started reading L'Amour in jr. high, but moved on to military/tecno thrillers as well was WWII nonfiction. I enjoyed the L'Amour books I had read and in recent years wondered why I stopped. So I've read a few in the last couple of years and enjoyed them.

    My favorites of the few L'Amour novels I have read are Chancy, Milo Talon, Borden Chantry, Westward the Tide, Conagher and Dark Canyon.
    Last edited by USS Utah; 03-26-2013 at 12:33 PM.

  13. #43
    Finished Craig Symond's http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-at-S...vil+war+at+sea

    Short, just over 200 pages, but a good overview of Naval Operations during the Civil War. Dr Symonds looks at how technology affected operations as well as the lack of manufacturing capablity in the South. The South could not manufacture marine steam engines, as well as large guns and thick armor plate.

    He divides operations into logical groupings - blockade by the North and the Souths response, comerece raiding, war on the rivers, the seige/blockade of Charleston SC and the final operations in '64-65

    I thought it is a good companion to James McPherson's http://www.amazon.com/War-Waters-Con...ames+mcpherson

    currently reading Alex Kershaw's newest
    http://www.amazon.com/Liberator-Sold...=the+liberator

    About an officer in the 45th ID that fought with them from the landings in Sicly in July of 43 thru to the end of the war and the liberation of Dachau Concentration camp, over 500 days in combat

  14. #44
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Finally finished "The Old Curiosity Shop," one of Dickens' later novels. A fun read, complete with a great villain.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  15. #45
    1421 - The year China discovered America. Decent read, thought provoking. Takes away our western European bias. Only downer is some of the assertions are just that, many others supported by hard facts, including a Chinese junk found in California. I will not ruin the rest and I'm only half way through.
    All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.

  16. #46
    Starting Cloud Atlas now.

  17. #47
    Teachings of Thomas S. Monson

    The only Monson I read is Thomas S., he has always been one of my favorite general authorities.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  18. #48
    Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World by Evan Thomas

    Dwight David Eisenhower has often been viewed as a doddering lightweight of a president; in fact he was a surprisingly acute tactician, cold-blooded and brilliant at manipulating people in Washington, Moscow and Beijing. If people saw Ike as a lightweight it was because he wanted them to. The former army general had been so good at poker that he had to stop playing his fellow officers. He could be patient and ruthless and as the Cold War escalated with the H-bomb and ICBMs, he had to be. The conventional forces to defeat a Soviet offensive in Europe would have busted the budget, so Eisenhower threatened massive retaliation with a less expensive nuclear arsenal. But would he have actually given the order that could have lead to the destruction of the world? Nobody but Ike knew the answer to that question, and it is even possible that he did know it himself. But the key to avoiding World War III was that the Soviets believe he would give the order, so whatever his thoughts were on the question, he could not tell anyone about them. Thus, the loneliness of the being president greatly exceeded the loneliness of being Supreme Commander Allied Force Europe during World War II.

    This is a fantastic book about a president who was and still is underestimated and underrated.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  19. #49
    I'm also listening to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Kennedy as I take my daily walk. Killing Lincoln (which I also listened to) was great, but the Kennedy sequel is not nearly as good. Part of the problem is that Kennedy does not stand up very well next to Lincoln (who does?) -- or Eisenhower for that matter -- the other problem is that O'Reilly might give too much attention to JFK's sex life. There might be some aspects of Kennedy's affairs that are important, but I am sure that some details the author shares I just didn't need to know.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  20. #50
    Finished The Liberator - excellent read! - I highly recommend this to anyone interested in WW II. Mr Kershaw tells the story of Felix Sparks who rose from a 2LT to a LTC and Bn Commander at 26 in the 157 INF. He made 4 amphibious invasions (Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Southern France) twice loosing his command ( Once in Anzio as a Company commander - He was the sole non-casuality in his company and about 9 mths later in the Vosages Mtns of southern France, during the German assault - code named Operation Nordwind, as a Bn Co he lost his three line companies after they became surrounded). Sometimes his relationship with his superior officers was strained at best, but he was so good at his job, the didn't take his bn away from him.

    As a personal note his bn was one of the bns that captured Nuremberg (where I lived as a teenager) and after that his bn did liberate the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich. While living in Germany I visited Dachau twice. Unfortunately the first time, I was not impressed (rather boring - too young I guess, I was 13) the second time a couple of years later made a much greater/lasting impression on me. I really enjoyed reading those episodes.

    Currently reading Robert Massie's biography of Catherine the Great

    http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Grea...+robert+massie
    Last edited by happyone; 04-02-2013 at 02:22 AM.

  21. #51
    The Third Reich: A New History by Michael Burleigh

    The subtitle might be a little misleading. This is not a chronological recounting of the history of Nazi Germany, but rather an in depth examination of many different aspects of the Third Reich beginning with politics of the Weimar Republic and finishing with post-WWII Germany. The author seeks the "serious intellectual issues almost buried beneath the avalanche of morbid kitsch and populistic trivia which this subject generates." The result is an excellent, if heavy, book. This one is not for the casual reader, unless they casually pick up heavy tomes such as The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Is Paris Burning? or The Pity of War -- actually, this book is much heavier than Rise and Fall seemed to be in retrospect.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  22. #52
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #53
    I'm still working my way through The Third Reich, but I took a couple of breaks from it to read two more Louis L'Amour novels, Last Stand at Papago Wells and The Man Called Noon, which were both very good.

    http://www.louislamour.com/novels/laststand.htm

    http://www.louislamour.com/novels/mancallednoon.htm
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  24. #54
    I love L'Amour, (no pun intended) he weaves a lifetime of research and observation into his novels. The flora, fauna, and historical information are spectacular.
    Desse jeito, não tem jeito.

  25. #55
    I'm taking another break from The Third Reich (I just finished the section on the Holocaust) and reading Chancy for the third time. This is one of my favorites, though its been over 20 years since a last read it.

    http://www.louislamour.com/novels/chancy.htm
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  26. #56
    I have been slogging my way through Manchester's Churchill biography and had to put it down to read a book club book. The Orphan Master's Son. I had never heard of it, but it is terrific and I highly, highly recommend it. A spy novel sort of in North Korea. I cant put it down. Since I started it, it won the Putlitzer last week.

  27. #57
    Project Azorian: The CIA and the Raising of the K-129 by Norman Polmar and Michael White

    From the "truth is stranger that fiction" department, an excellent book about the most audacious salvage operation ever undertaken. The book also addresses the many conspiracy theories that have arisen from this event. I have been fascinated by the K-129/Glomar Explorer story since I first read about it in Blind Man's Bluff by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew back in 1998. You just can't make something like this up, as evidenced by some of the conspiracy theories connected to the story.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  28. #58
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    I have been slogging my way through Manchester's Churchill biography and had to put it down to read a book club book. The Orphan Master's Son. I had never heard of it, but it is terrific and I highly, highly recommend it. A spy novel sort of in North Korea. I cant put it down. Since I started it, it won the Putlitzer last week.
    Been looking for some new fiction, so I've downloaded this to my Kindle account.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #59
    Walking through Walmart the other day and noticed Dan Brown's new book Inferno is out. Bought it but haven't started it yet. Also reading Baseball as A Road to God by NYU President John Sexton. I'd join that church.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  30. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Been looking for some new fiction, so I've downloaded this to my Kindle account.
    you will have to let me know what you think after you are done.

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